Farewell, my Florida,
My damsel of grace and beauty.
I’m sorry to leave you,
In hands that seem unworthy.
But my heart is drawn far from your gallant rivers and beach,
And into the mountains where I must find a new life and peace.
I’ll look to the memories when you held me close;
In your stillness you whispered my name.
Clutched me at my darkest hour;
Comforted me with your wild ways.
I love your forests of Ocala, the spring of Hidden Pond,
Your history of Augustine, the trails of Little Big Econ.
Under your moon, I’ve made my bed,
But now I rise and leave what’s dead.
Goodbye Rock Springs, Blue and Wekiwa,
I laughed and bled in your showers,
And now I’m so glad you made me stronger.
Shark Valley cycling, Venice collecting on the breaks,
Lost and scared in Windover Wood,
Afraid I wouldn’t leave even if I could.
I will lament Cricket’s song,
And never forget Cicada’s hum.
My soul will long,
For Coyote’s cackle, Otter’s dance, and Bobcat’s treachery,
My heart will wish,
For Alligator’s gait, Ladyfish’s prance, and Moccasin’s slithering.
Bass and Tarpon’s fight,
Cichlid and Bream’s delight,
They are memories of yesteryear,
For my place is no longer here.
Spider’s scurry, Sand Skink’s race,
Tortoise’s lumber, Monarch’s face,
Rabbit’s bounce, White-tail's trace.
The dive of Anhinga and glory of Spoonbill,
The hope of Starling and stature of Eagle.
The chirp of Mockingbird, the song of Wren,
The knock of Woodpecker; What once was ‘live is now dead.
Farewell Florida, I’ll remember you always.
You held me close as though I was your son,
You never asked of me, and were never done.
Under your shade,
I wept so long,
And under your grace,
I became your love.
Pines, oaks, palms and cypress,
Maple, cedar, mango and ficus.
But I must go,
And it’s not really your fault,
The same people who’ve hurt you,
Have put me in the dark.
I know we will see each other again one day,
And I hope you stand strong without dismay.
I hope we can laugh and cry,
And ‘member our moments,
That nothing will leave and die,
Or extinguish our fondness.
Farewell, my Florida, in all your glory,
Remember I love you, and that I’m sorry.
4 responses to “Farewell Florida”
Yes! Florida the Beautiful, you’ve made your impression deep! We honor all you’ve done!
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Sorry? Perhaps, for what others have done or are doing… But not for anything you have done. We have loved and cared and done our best to improve each place we’ve lived in this great state. So, there is nothing for which to be sorry.
It was my choice to bring you here with me. Now, it appears I’m following you to the mountains. See you soon, there is much exploring yet to do.
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Sorry only to see what is left. But not sorry for my part in it. My part can end knowing I led with integrity and everything I had in me. Sorry, in a sense, because I wish that all things I leave behind could be left better than I found them. Though, obviously, not all things are in my control. Therefore, it’s merely poetic rhetoric. But my heart holds no guilt.
And yes! What a joy it is to lead you for once and together we will love our community well!